Saudi Aramco TotalEnergies Refinery & Petrochemicals Co. (Satorp)—a joint venture of Saudi Aramco (62.5%) and TotalEnergies SE (37.5%)—has completed production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from co-processing of used cooking oil (UCO) at the operator’s 460,000 b/d full-conversion refinery complex at Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast.
Satorp’s Jubail platform produced the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s first International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC+)-certified SAF from UCO in August 2023 via co-processing in the refinery’s low-pressure hydrodesulfurization unit, meeting all product-quality parameters of SAF specifications, TotalEnergies said on Oct. 30.
“This project at Satorp is part of TotalEnergies’ aim to produce 1.5 million tonnes/year (tpy) of SAF by 2030 [in line] with the company’s ambition to get to net zero by 2050,” said Francois Good, senior-vice president of TotalEnergies’ refining and petrochemicals for the company’s Africa, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific division.
With first production now completed and ISCC+ certification in hand, Satorp’s Jubail platform is now equipped to respond to Saudi Arabia’s anticipated increased demand for UCO-based SAF, which reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by at least 80% on average across the entire lifecycle compared with the fossil-based fuel equivalent, TotalEnergies said.
Satorp’s production of ISCC+ certified SAF at Jubail follows the operator’s first production of ISCC+ certified circular polymers from plastic pyrolysis oil, or plastic waste derived oil (PDO), in the MENA region earlier this year, paving the way for Saudi Arabia’s creation of a domestic value chain for the advanced recycling of non-sorted plastics to circular polymers to help solve the challenge of end-of-life plastics, according to a July 17 release from TotalEnergies.
Aramco and TotalEnegies also recently let contracts for construction of the proposed $11-billion Amiral grassroots petrochemical complex to be integrated into Satorp’s existing Jubail platform (OGJ Online, June 26, 2023).
To feature a mixed-feed cracker capable of producing 1.65 million tpy of ethylene and related industrial gases, as well as two polyethylene units—each with a capacity of 500,000 tpy—the proposed Amiral complex would enable Satorp to convert internally produced refinery offgases and naphtha—in addition to ethane and natural gasoline supplied by Aramco—into high-demand chemicals by 2027 in support of Aramco’s plan to advance its liquids-to-chemicals strategy.
Alongside complementing commitments by TotalEnergies and Aramco to expand efficient production of sustainable fuels and advanced chemicals by maximizing synergies within an integrated refining and petrochemicals platform to foster a circular economy, the ongoing investments in Satorp also support reductions to the Jubail site’s carbon intensity in line with the companies’ shared goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 as part of the broader global energy transition.